What makes a destination worth going to? As a traveler, there are just too many destinations on my list but as budget and time dictate it, I can only choose a few, at least then.
In my case, these are what I look for:
Food & coffee, people, sights, and activities
because these make up a place’s culture.
Dumaguete, one of the provinces in the Visayan islands of the Philippines, pretty much ticked off all the boxes on my list. What’s more, it’s also a jump-off point to many neighbouring destinations. That’s why after this trip, I was able to make a quick stopover to Siquijor (Blog post about that trip here: https://samarellano.com/2017/05/20/siquijor-philippines/ ).
So here’s my Dumaguete trip last September 2014 summarised into the reasons why I choose a certain destination:
FOOD & COFFEE
I’ve read and heard about how good the food is in Dumaguete.
First up: Seafood.
With those I met during the trip, I was able to try fresh seafood at unbelievable prices. I enjoyed the food too much I wasn’t to take photos except for this:
10pcs of baked oysters for only Php150 (3 USD)!
Next, I also went to the wet market to try some local delicacies.
And of course, I went cafe hopping.
(Not in photo: the famous silvanas)
I’ve mentioned this so many times already. I enjoy talking to locals. It’s part of getting to know a place’s culture and it makes the experience all the more unforgettable.
The first friend that I made on the trip was this tricycle driver who drove me from the airport to the apartment I was staying at.
What made him unforgettable? He spoke to me in english the whole time because he thought I was a foreigner! Hahaha.
Another friend I made was this security guard from Siliman University who was nice enough to help the lone tourist that I was to take some photos of myself. Haha!
And for my favourite, this lola (grandma) who sat beside me while I was trying the local delicacies at the market. We had a good 30-minute chat about her granddaughter who is studying in Manila. I was touched when she said she liked me because I remind her of me. Awww.
It was the most random thing but I decided to go diving!
I asked around and they referred Yui, a Japanese professional diver who now resides in Dumaguete.
He took me to Dauin for my first ever diving experience.
It sucks that I didn’t have a GoPro then. So I had no underwater photos.
Thanks again Yui for the patience! Haha.
For those who want to get a diving license in Dumaguete or Cebu, send me a message and I can connect you to Yui. Nice and patient fella. He’ll also take you around Dumaguete for some drinks! Hahaha.
Just as what I’d usually do when I go to an unfamiliar place, I’d walk around and see what’s there to see and hope I won’t get lost. Haha!
Dumaguete is a simple town. Not too urban and not too rural. I guess that’s what makes it special.
So yes, I love Dumaguete. 🙂
Dumaguete, Philippines | September 2014
Writer | Solo Traveler